Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) criticized President Donald Trump for what he called “inexcusable silence and inaction” on a serious Russian cyberattack that compromised government agencies.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency identified a serious cyberattack on SolarWinds Orion, a network monitoring application, that could have began as far back as March. The attack exposed numerous networks used by the U.S. government as well as state and local agencies.
“This threat actor has demonstrated sophistication and complex tradecraft in these intrusions,” said the CISA in a statement on Thursday. “Removing the threat actor from compromised environments will be highly complex and challenging.”Romney on Thursday released a statement expressing his alarm at the attack and also criticizing the president for his silence.
“The cyber attack is like Russian bombers have been repeatedly flying undetected over our entire country,” said Romney. He then listed the dangers associated with the attack.
Alarming U.S. vulnerability
Apparent cyber warfare weakness
Glaringly inadequate cyber defenses
Inexcusable silence and inaction from the White House
“Past time for national security re-set that prioritizes cybersecurity capabilities and defenses,” he added.
Romney said in a Sirius radio interview that the attack showed “that our cyber warfare readiness is extraordinarily weak, that they think so little of our ability to fight back from a cyber standpoint that they do this with impunity.”
Romney joins a chorus of voices demanding a response from the White House, while President-elect Joe Biden has already released a statement from his transition team.
“A good defense isn’t enough; We need to disrupt and deter our adversaries from undertaking significant cyberattacks in the first place,” Biden said.
“We will do that by, among other things, imposing substantial costs on those responsible for such malicious attacks, including in coordination with our allies and partners,” he added. “Our adversaries should know that, as President, I will not stand idly by in the face of cyber assaults on our nation.”
Intelligence officials suspect the cyberattack came from Russian state actors, but the Russian government has denied the allegations.